Together, at a relaxed time, explore possible ways to have more attend time by doing these four steps. Remember that ‘attend time’ is about the two of you having fun focusing on each other. Also you don’t have to know you will love a certain activity…part of the fun is finding out! Your goal: make a list of future activities.
- ‘Available any time’ activities. Think of things you enjoy that are always available to you, like visiting museums, hiking, shopping, going to dinner, visiting new places nearby, going to movies, or doing a creative project together. The more interactive or active the activity, the better (ex: hiking is more interactive than a movie). Please create a list of ongoing things that you would love to do together or have enjoyed in the past.
- ‘Once in a while’ special events. These things happen occasionally, or are things for which you must save time or money to do. These might include trips, shows, visiting far away places, long-distance biking for a week, going to a special restaurant, and more. Please create a list of special events that you would love to do together.
- Find time. Your schedule is most likely over-full. But, thinking creatively, is there a time during the week that you could set aside to be together? (Examples: Saturday afternoons when your children are at band practice, or the half an hour after the kids are put into bed.) Without worrying at the moment about whether you can actually make it work all the time, when might those times be? What would need to happen for you to commit to four weeks in a row of using one or more of those times? If you agree to do this, block out these times in your calendar now.
- Add ‘new and challenging activities.’ Things that are new to you are more likely to make you feel more connected. What are some ‘new and challenging’ activities that you have not done before, but which might be fun to try if you had time? For example: signing up for tango lessons; learning to geocache; trying new sex toys together; learning just about any new sport; taking up bird watching; taking a ceramics class together…
Now that you have some ideas, make a plan to start doing some of those that sound most appealing and/or immediately possible! Make sure that you celebrate each other, and the friendship these activities encourage. Take turns doing those activities that are less interesting to one partner than the other and remain positive even if the activity you are doing today isn't your top choice.